Vinalhaven news

By Claire Carter | Jan 09, 2014
Photo by: Jo Lazaro Ann Marie Lazaro said she wanted to start her year off right and was the only one to take the plunge during the island's polar dip on New Year's Day. She will join the rest of the dippers when the fundraiser for the public library is rescheduled around Valentine's Day.

So far 2014 has brought record cold to the island and several more inches of snow thanks to Winter Storm Hercules. Snow drifts darkened doors downtown, edges of the harbor froze over and the town crew even closed Main Street down and created a detour through the parking lot in their snow removal efforts. Local plumbers have also been working overtime fixing frozen pipes and other home crises caused by the sudden cold spurts.

The weather was even too arctic for the Penobscot Bay Polar Dip, which was postponed Jan. 1 due to the bitterly cold, windy conditions. Pam Alley, one of the fundraiser’s organizers, said it was for the better that the event was canceled to avoid any potential injuries to the dippers.

Only one brave soul faced up to the icy waters to prove her true grit: Ann Marie Lazaro donned a wet suit and a Happy New Year crown as she plunged into the ocean at the state beach, and her husband Jo took a picture to prove it. Pam said Ann Marie’s feet froze almost instantly when she emerged from the water, but “she wasn’t going to let anyone call her a wimp!” They will be checking the tides and hope the dip will be rescheduled around Valentine’s Day.

The weather wasn’t as cold but it was just as miserable at the New England Patriots’ last regular-season game at Gillette Stadium Dec. 29, where several islanders were present to watch the Pats prevail over the Buffalo Bills. It rained buckets at the 4:25 p.m. game in Foxborough, Mass., but the wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the fans.

“I stayed dry, wearing my waterproof Duluth work pants and two Under Armour sweatshirts — with my Bruschi jersey, of course,” said Sam Bickford, who had seats right behind the Pats’ bench. Meredith Swears wore ski pants and five layers of sweatshirts and jackets underneath her Tom Brady jersey but got completely soaked. “Luckily it was not very cold, so I wasn't uncomfortable at all,” she said. “The fact that the Patriots won made the whole experience worth it.” New England fans had last weekend off with a playoff bye but can look forward to the second-round playoff game at home on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 8:15 p.m. versus the Indianapolis Colts.

The Maine Lobstering Union held a public meeting at the town office Saturday, Jan. 4, where they discussed health care and new proposed legislative bills. Company representatives will be coming to the island Wednesday, Jan. 22 to talk to those who want to obtain health insurance through the union.

A new payment procedure will soon be implemented at Aerofit. Casey Martin has taken over bookkeeping at the health club and will help introduce electronic payments through Square, which allows companies to accept debit and credit cards using a card reader that can attach to mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads. Membership payments will be due the first of the month every month, and the system is expected to be in effect starting Feb. 1.

If you have any news to include in this column, please contact Claire at clairecartervh@gmail.com.

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